Sunday, July 5, 2009

Incarceration Generation

"Recent studies indicate that having an incarcerated parent doubles the chance that a child will be at least temporarily homeless and measurably increases the likelihood of physically aggressive behavior, social isolation, depression and problems in school..." according to an article in the July 4th New York Times:

The Women of Block 12 worry about their children and what will happen to them while they are in jail or prison. Some of the children are with grandparents or other relatives. Many live with abusive partners. Others are in the foster system.

The women fear their newborns and infants will not recognize them when they get out or that their older children will be angry at them for leaving. Every Wednesday night, we pray for the children left behind.

When these women return home, will they be better parents? Not unless we help them with the skills they need to support and nurture their families.



Wednesday, July 1, 2009

"Take 'em to jail attitude doesn't always work with the mentally ill"

Police officers in Yakima County, Washington are participating in training to help them assess the needs of mentally ill individuals according to an article by By Phil Ferolito of the Yakima Herald-Republic. The goal is to divert individuals with mental illness to community treatment programs, a more cost effective and humane alternative to jail.

Mr. Ferlito writes, "Since the 1950s, beds at mental hospitals nationwide have been reduced from more than 500,000 to about 58,000, sending many people who suffer from mental illness into the streets and jails."

Read more about this topic at: